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Summer alternatives: Finding the best way to spend your time

Getting an internship doesn't define your summer plans

ASU Study Abroad office, located in Room 255 of Interdisciplinary B on the Tempe campus, is pictured on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. 

ASU Study Abroad office, located in Room 255 of Interdisciplinary B on the Tempe campus, is pictured on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. 

The summer is slowly creeping up on us, and I’m sure there are several of you who are starting to panic and wonder how you’ll spend that time.

Yes, summer is supposed to be a relaxing time and a break from school, but in college it’s where some students get ahead.

The most popular option is to find an internship, but if that doesn’t work out it isn’t the end of the world.

A few friends of mine didn't get the job or internship they were hoping to get this summer, so to them, here are some alternate options.

You can take online classes and get ahead on your major, minor or honors credits. For example, I have seven credits worth of online classes ready to take this summer just in case I don't get an internship. Even with an internship, I could probably still take these online classes.

Some students take the time to study abroad for a few weeks and explore the culture of other countries.

I know several people who are going abroad this summer because they don't know if they'll ever get that opportunity again if they do happen to get a job or internship in the future.

The bottom line is that there is so much you can do with your summer that is fun and productive, so it’s nothing to worry about too much.

Summer break is just about the same length as another semester, so you don't want to do nothing either. Being productive rather than just sitting on the couch for three months is probably what your parents would rather see as well.

Getting an internship is not the end game when pursuing a career; taking online classes, studying abroad or even getting a job are worthwhile pursuits.

Online classes allow you to get ahead in credits so that your fall or spring schedules are not as cluttered. Taking online classes could also free up the space for you to get a job or internship during the school year. For example, if you were to take seven credits worth of online classes in the summer, you could potentially lighten the load for your fall and spring semesters by one class each.

Studying abroad would give you irreplaceable experience in a different country and culture. You can learn a new language or understand foreign relations while also gaining class credit. Every residential college offers a study abroad program for several areas of study. Cronkite is offering a Middle East trip where you can learn about the refugee camps and Israeli-Palestinian relations.  Where else can you get that experience?

Even getting a job is extremely beneficial. You can earn extra cash to bring with you in the fall while learning key management and people skills. Being a cashier or a waiter can be helpful to a student by allowing them to interact with several different people over the course of the day. You never know, maybe you could even meet someone who could give you a connection or an opportunity to a better job in the future.

All three options could even be put together to complete a summer but you have to remember to keep a healthy balance. Don't overwhelm yourself by thinking you have to do all of these things.

So, don’t worry about not getting that fancy internship you thought you would get. Keep your chin up and open your eyes to the other life changing opportunities that are available to you.

Reach the columnist at or follow @abkbundy on Twitter.

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Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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